I have worked with many companies in IMS Marketing that required us to help them to rebrand for various reasons, however, few of our clients are fully aware of the time and effort involved to successfully rebrand a company. Rebranding can be a very serious declaration of intent, a marker of your company’s commitment to evolve and grow.
In many cases, business owners and CEO’s underestimate what is involved in a rebrand, thinking a simple change of logo or brand colours will suffice. A rebrand is a multi-layered approach to fundamentally changing some critical aspects of your company, product or service which may include your business name, culture, brand values, vision and mission, value proposition, brand positioning, the tone of voice, brand collateral and more. It takes input and commitment from all key stakeholders, not just the marketing department.
So, whether you are thinking of using the services of an outsourced marketing agency such as IMS or you have an internal team to manage a rebrand in-house, I have outlined a few things you will need to consider before you can engage in a rebranding project and to ensure its overall success.
Start with the business reasons for a rebrand.
Maybe your company has a new product to offer the market and you need the brand design and messaging to match. Or, perhaps your company has outgrown your brand and you feel it needs to be modernised to look more professional. Maybe your target audience or customer base has changed, and your current brand message no longer resonates with them. Quite possibly you are considering a rebrand because of competition within your market, forcing you to evolve and innovate or get left behind.
Since a rebrand is a serious undertaking and requires investment in both time and money, you need to understand the reasons why you are considering a rebrand before you can move forward. This is a very important step which is meant to help a company navigate the transition and mark a clear shift from ‘before’ to ‘after.’ Once you understand the reasons it will guide you in the right direction in addressing the issues.
What are the real perceptions around your brand?
Now that you are clear on the business reasons for considering a rebrand, the next step is to conduct an audit of your brand to assess current brand positioning and perceptions.
While you may think that you have a good understanding of how your brand is perceived by the outside world and have your reasons for changing or updating it, basing your decision on internal perceptions alone could be a big mistake. The goal is to have an objective understanding of the perception of your brand which requires both internal and external research so you are making decisions on a full understanding of where your brand is today and where your brand needs to go in the future. Who knows? You might find that your brand positioning is strong and has a positive perception amongst your customers and that changing the brand might have a negative impact.
By researching your customers and target market, you will gain a better understanding of what your brand stands for outside your business. This can highlight areas for improvement when considering a rebrand that you simply would miss if you just reviewed the brand internally. This research can also identify areas where your current brand is strong or weak and help you formulate a rebranding strategy that works with your current brand’s strengths and overcomes its weaknesses.
How does my brand compare to competitors?
Before you can start comparing your brand to competitor’s brands you will need to conduct a brand audit to fully review your brand’s touchpoints. That means identifying everywhere your brand exists both online and offline. Sometimes you don’t even realise all the places that your logo exists. Is your current branding consistent across all channels? What touchpoint or brand elements work well? What is your value proposition and does it successfully represent your company’s values and offerings? What features should be kept if any? What perception does your current brand communicate? Is it old-fashioned, weak, fun, colourful, bold, playful, feminine, masculine? How do you want your brand to be perceived?
Conducting a brand audit forces you to review and consider all the elements associated with your brand and prevents you having to rely on internal beliefs and perceptions.
Then you need to research your competitors. What are their branding touchpoints? How do you compare to your competitor’s brand? Is their branding consistent? What is their value proposition? What is their brand personality? Is their brand unique, different, strong or bold? How does your current brand compare? What key messaging do they use to communicate with their target audience and how do they differentiate themselves from the competition?
What do you want to stand for in the future?
You want a rebrand to serve your companies needs both now and in the future. So, when you’re thinking about the changes you’d like to implement, develop and design your brand to be the company you would like to see it grow into.
Strategically review your core messaging, who you are, what you stand for, what your brand promise is today and where would you like it to be in the future?
Part of developing your brand messaging is to create a value proposition statement which is a clear, concise and compelling statement about the outcomes your customers can realise from using your product, service or solution. Your strategic messaging should highlight what you stand for and differentiate your key products and services in the marketplace.
While some of your ideas for the future can be implemented later, by thinking about how you want the business to grow is a great way to plan for the future.
IMS has helped many companies across a range of industries to successfully research, plan and roll out successful rebrand strategies by providing understanding and guidance of the process involved and ensuring that key stakeholders in the project are involved from the outset.
If you are thinking of updating your company brand, come and talk to us first and we can put you on the right track to success – firstname.lastname@example.org